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Take a digital detox
30 Apr 15

People are becoming addicted to their phones and in the process they are diluting meaningful relationships. You may feel like your dependency on your mobile phone is disconnecting you from meaningful relationships, which is of course a sad paradox because the very device which connects you with millions of people is the same reason why you are disconnecting from the fewer people that matter the most. 

Think about it, how often are you checking your phone for updates, or worse still, how often do you check your phone because you heard a phantom ring (Phantom vibration syndrome is the sensation and false belief that your phone is vibrating or ringing, when in fact the it is not)? Your dependency on your phone may have grown to the extent where you suffer from Nomophobia (the fear of being out of mobile phone contact). 

That isn't to say that cell phones are bad for your social life; you just need to know when to put your phone away, and now there are digital retreats which are helping people do just that. Digital retreat companies have been popping up all over America. They call themselves "digital detox” retreats and the concept is actually really simple – they offer digital free retreats which include experiences such as hiking, meditation and arts-and-crafts. The most important thing they offer is a distraction which allows your mind to stop worrying about instant notifications. 

Dubbed "restorative breaks” these retreats offer visitors a getaway free of WiFi and digital distractions. The popularity of these retreats show how real the problem has become however like every good holiday even a digital retreat must come to an end. Only at the end of this vacation you will be bombarded with tons of emails, Facebook notifications and news to catch-up on. 

So the answer (at least the long term answer) is not to switch off but to rather be digitally responsible. 

Being digitally responsible will help us manage our work life, social networking lives and our more intimate relationships. Forgetting the outside world is dangerous, switching off our digital world is stressful – so it is necessary to find a balance. Studies have actually shown that during times when you need to concentrate (meeting or study sessions) your anxiety levels will drop if your phone is off (or even hidden from sight in a drawer). 


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